2:53pm Monday 18th March 2013
By Joe Willis
HOLIDAY home buyers facing financial ruin protested in a North-East high street at the weekend.
Investors who bought properties on the island of Cyprus have been issued with writs by a Cyprus-based bank after failing to keep up with rocketing mortgages.
Many investors bought holiday homes on the island before they had been built through North Yorkshire-based Roseberry Overseas Property (ROP-UK).
Scores of properties are still not finished years after deposits were paid.
Buyers have accused former ROP-UK director Andrew Laird of failing to explain the risks, supplying inaccurate information and refusing to help when problems emerged.
Many investors are taking legal action against the bank, the developer and Mr Laird.
The protest was organised by Ken Graham, of Kirklevington, near Yarm.
He paid out £60,000 in deposits and legal fees for a house he never received and is now at risk of losing his UK home.
He said: “We want to highlight how we’ve been treated.”
Investors from as far away as Essex and Manchester took part in the protest outside Roseberry Newhouse estate agents, in Yarm, which is described on its website as a “corporate partner” to Mr Laird's firm, Stokesley-based, Roseberry Financial Ltd.
Mr Laird said in a statement that he was one of more than 70 defendants in proceedings brought in the Royal Courts of Justice by more than 200 purchasers of holiday and investment properties in Cyprus from developer Alpha Panareti Ltd (AP).
The statement added: “Roseberry Overseas Property Limited (ROP), now in liquidation, was one of several agents in the UK marketing apartments in the AP developments in Cyprus. ROP also marketed overseas properties in Spain, France and Bulgaria. I was an employee and director of ROP.
“Pursuant to the advice of my solicitors and barrister I have applied to strike out the claims against me on the ground that they have no prospect of success.”
Roseberry Newhouse managing director John Newhouse said the company had not been involved in the sale of properties in Cyprus or overseas.
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